Queen’s Peril, when it releases on June 2, 2020, will be the newest addition to the Disney Star Wars Canon.
The events in this novel take place after the events of Master and Apprentice and just before the film, The Phantom Menace.
In fact, to my surprise, the last quarter of the book runs parallel to The Phantom Menace.
It is not a novelization of the events in the movie, it’s more of an expansion.
With that bit of timeline info out of the way, let’s get into this story, shall we?
At just 14-years old, Padme Naberrie is elected Queen of Naboo. Her parents exposed her early to civic duty and the idea that she could one day be Queen never felt far-fetched to her.
After her election, the Head of Security Forces for Naboo, Quarsh Panaka devises a plan to select special handmaidens for the Queen.
These handmaidens will be a lot more than meets they eye. They will actually serve as body doubles and protection.
Each one, chosen with care by Panaka himself, brings a different skill to the table. Together they make quite a team.
A large portion of the story is learning about the girls and how they contribute to the function of the Queen’s reign.
It was interesting to follow as these girls go from being strangers, to companions and ultimately, to friends.
As Naboo becomes threatened by the Trade Federation, maneuverings take place to secure the Queen and gain help for Naboo.
Once the events begin to align with those of The Phantom Menace, we get more insights into what was going on behind the scenes during Padme’s flight from Naboo.
E.K. Johnston writes with such care and skill within the Star Wars universe.
You can tell that she knows the ins-and-outs of this world, complex as it is, and that she is equally passionate about it as we are as readers.
I loved the subtle feel of the narrative. It’s a character driven story, although the action does pick up towards the end, and I feel like I learned a lot.
Some of the highlights for me were learning about each of the handmaidens, why they were chosen and what their specific skills were.
I also liked the little cameos of beloved characters popping up throughout, including Yoda, Anakin, Qui Gon and Jar Jar Binks.
Senator Palpatine is also explored in greater depth here which I loved.
The duality of his character is so freaking interesting and the way Johnston wrote from his perspective was perfection!
Overall, this book is a joy to read and for Padme fans, an absolute gift!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Lucasfilm Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
I had already preordered my copy prior to receiving my ARC and was beyond the moon excited to be able to get my hands on it early!